US 6901879 B2
A supplemental reflective and informational member securable within the C-shaped channel of existing traffic sign posts to provide additional reflective safety warning, extend the life of the traffic sign function from fading due to UV sun rays and to provide information of a safety, directional or commercial nature.
1. An improved traffic sign post and traffic sign mounted thereon providing additional reflective warning for motorists wherein said traffic sign post has a rear wall, having a plurality of vertically spaced apart apertures positioned therein, two divergent side walls extending from said rear wall and defining a vertical C-shaped channel, said two divergent side walls having opposing outwardly extending flanges parallel with said rear wall, the improvement comprising:
a reflective warning member secured to said traffic sign post which comprises a substrate having a reflective layer bonded thereto, said reflective warning member having a width proximate to the width of said rear wall of said C-shaped channel, said reflective warning member secured to said rear wall in said vertical C-shaped channel between said two divergent side walls, said substrate of said reflective warning member comprises high density polyethylene or aluminum, said reflective member being color coded to match the color of the traffic sign.
2. A method of providing extended life to a traffic sign from the UV ray effects of the sum and providing supplementary reflective warning to motorists in conjunction with said traffic sign, wherein said traffic sign is mounted on a traffic sign post, said sign post having a rear wall, having a plurality of vertically spaced apart apertures positioned therein, two divergent side walls extending from said rear wall and defining a vertical C-shaped channel, and said two divergent side walls having opposing outwardly extending flanges parallel with said rear wall, said method comprising:
a) forming a vertical reflective warning member having a width proximate to the width of said rear wall of said traffic sign post between said two divergent side walls;
b) positioning said reflective warning member against said rear wall of said traffic sign post;
c) securing said reflective warning member to said rear wall of said traffic sign post.
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This is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/626,762, filed Jul. 27, 2000, now abandoned, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/245,268, filed Feb. 5, 1999, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,158,379.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to the field of traffic sign posts and in particular to a reflective and/or fluorescent member securable within the C-shaped channel of existing sign posts to provide additional reflective safety warning and to extend the life of the sign function and in a second embodiment, a reflective and/or fluorescent member and mounting member which mates with the C-shaped section of the existing sign post so as to provide the same additional safety reflection and also information.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Traffic sign posts are encountered every day by motorists regardless of the length of their journey. The sign posts are positioned on the sides of the highway or road and at intersections and support signs which advise motorists of the actions they should take, e.g. STOP, YIELD, ONE WAY, TURN, etc., and as delineators to identify the road shoulders. The traffic signs mounted on the traffic sign posts are also color coded and reflective. Stop signs are red, informational signs are black and white, and warning signs are yellow.
The traffic sign posts themselves have been standardized over the years and are generally C-shaped in cross section having opposing outstanding flanges. A plurality of apertures are positioned in the rear face of the traffic sign post and the traffic signs themselves are mounted by means of a threaded fastener passing through the sign which is juxtaposed against the flanges, the fastener extending through apertures in the rear face and secured.
These standardized traffic sign posts can be found on every street and road in a community and in most instances their sole purpose is to support the traffic sign itself. One problem encountered with traffic signs is that as a result of their exposure to sunlight and in particular, the UV light from the sun, the color and reflectivity of the signs decreases over time such that the warranty offered by companies which manufacture the signs is limited often to less than seven years. One object of the present invention is to provide an additional reflective capability to the traffic sign post which can extend the useful life of the traffic sign as a warning device.
Additionally the existing traffic sign post is one dimensional in that it serves one mission, that of supporting the traffic sign when in fact because of their placement and frequency, they could impart additional information. In the second embodiment of Applicant's invention, a mounting member is utilized, the cross section of which is such that it would mate within the C-shaped cross section of the traffic sign post and present a vertical support of varying widths and lengths on the sign post for receipt of the reflective and/or fluorescent member so as to provide additional warning reflectivity and which could also have messages positioned thereon of a safety, directional, or commercial nature.
In either embodiment, the reflective character of the traffic sign would be enhanced by the fact that a reflector and/or fluorescent member which would be color coded to the type of sign, would be vertically aligned and secured to the traffic sign post so as to better gain the visual attention of the motorist.
An object of the present invention is to provide for a novel reflective and/or fluorescent member securable to existing traffic sign posts which reflective member enhances the warning capability intended to be given to the motorist by the traffic sign.
Another object of the present invention is to provide for a novel reflective and/or fluorescent member which in a first embodiment, will extend the life of the traffic sign in that the reflective member will be positioned on the traffic sign post such that it is partially shielded from sunlight yet visible to a motorist.
A further object of the present invention is to provide for a novel reflective and/or fluorescent member and mounting member which mounting member has a cross section such that it can mate within the C-shaped traffic sign post and present a vertical face for receipt of a member having a reflective capability and/or an informational capability.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide for a novel reflective member and mounting member which can be easily mated to existing traffic sign posts without any modifications to the existing traffic sign post.
A reflective and/or fluorescent member mountable to a traffic sign post to augment the warning capability of the traffic sign mounted on the traffic sign post, the reflective and/or fluorescent member in a first embodiment is mounted in the recessed C-channel of the traffic sign post and is partially shielded from the sun during the day and thereby extends the life of the traffic sign which fades from the action of UV sunlight, and in a second embodiment, the reflective and/or fluorescent member is mounted on the face of a mounting member, the mounting member having a cross section such that it mates with the C-shaped channel of the traffic sign post, the edges of the mounting member being flanged outwardly and the reflective and/or fluorescent member may also include information of a safety, directional or commercial nature.
These and other objects of the present invention will become evident, particularly when taken in light of the following illustrations wherein:
The reflective member 10 would be fabricated of a desired standardized length and could easily be cut to the exact length required at the time of installation with installation by mechanical fasteners, i.e. pop rivets through apertures 28 formed through base 12 and reflective layer 26.
In practice, the traffic sign (not shown) would be juxtaposed against the front face of traffic sign post 30 as defined by flanges 40 and 42 and a fastening means would extend through the traffic sign, through trapezoidal area 38 and through an aperture in the rear face 32 of traffic sign post 30.
In the first embodiment of applicant's invention, applicant's reflective member 10 would be cut to the desired length for the particular traffic sign post in question. For instance, if one wished to have the reflective member 10 extend from the ground to a point proximate the lower edge of the traffic sign, the installer would cut the reflective member 10 to that length. At that point two or more apertures 28 would be punched into reflective member 10 for the receipt of a fastening means and reflective member 10 would be positioned within the trapezoidal area 38 against rear wall 32 such that the reflective layer 26 was positioned towards the front face of the traffic sign post 30 as defined by flanges 40 and 42. A pop rivet or other suitable fastener 44 would be utilized to secure the reflective member 10 against the rear wall 32.
In the first embodiment of the invention, the reflective member as mounted heretofore, extends the life the traffic sign by providing additional reflectivity and warning to the motorist without suffering the same rate of fading that the traffic sign encounters. This is achieved by the fact that the reflective member 10 is mounted against the rear wall 32 of traffic sign post 30 and therefore it is partially shielded from sunlight.
The second embodiment of applicant's reflective warning and information member would utilize a reflective member as illustrated in
In this configuration, the reflective member 10 would be affixed to the front face 52 of support member 50. Further, in this configuration, the reflective member would be wider than that of the first embodiment and could if desired, have information of a safety, directional or commercial nature printed thereon. As is illustrated from
In order to increase the structural integrity of mounting member 90, particularly with respect to the fastening means 91, mounting member 90 can be extruded so as to provide additional thickness in the form of a longitudinal rib 93 along rear face 92 for receipt of a fastening means in the form of a threaded fastener.
Mounting member 90 can also be used as a stand alone delineator at the sides of driveways as a self-supporting member with reflector member to delineate the edge of the driveway.
While the invention has been described in connection with an exemplary embodiment thereof, it will be understood that many modifications will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art; and that this application is intended to cover any adaptations or variations thereof. Therefore, it is manifestly intended that this invention be only limited by the claims and the equivalents thereof.